Will Trump’s December Surprise be an attempt to pull off an Electoral College Coup?

I have no doubts that Trump and his administration with help from the GOP, are planning to attempt an Electoral College coup.

For Trump and the GOP to pull off this coup, they will have to flip 56 Electoral College votes in the battle ground states where Biden won the popular vote.

Those states are: Nevada, Minnesota, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

To pull off this coup and steal the election, Trump must be supported by the Republican Party in those states, but Trump will not be able to flip Nevada’s 6 electoral votes – Nevada has a Democratic Governor and both state legislatures have Democratic majorities.

Then there is Minnesota with 10 electoral votes. This state has a Democratic Governor with a GOP majority in the state Senate and a Democratic majority in the state House, Trump and the GOP will probably not be successful in flipping the electors in this state.  Any faithless electors in this state will be challenged in court and their votes changed to support Biden.

There is only one state that is probably a safe bet for Trump to flip and that is Arizona with 11 Electoral College votes. Arizona is the only state among the six that has a GOP governor and both legislatures controlled by the GOP.

The rest of the states with a total of 46 Electoral College votes have Democratic governors, but the GOP controls the state legislatures. Can those Democratic governors veto any legislation the GOP controlled legislatures attempt to pass to make it legal to flip their Electoral College votes and/or may those Democratic governors go to court without support from their legislatures to hold their electors accountable to state law?

Right now, 48 states have laws that direct their electors to cast their vote with the popular vote winner in their states and all 6 of these battle ground states are on that list. For this coup to be legal, those laws must be changed or the state must not contest the Faithless Electors.

In July 2020, a unanimous U.S. Supreme court ruled that Electoral College voters can be forced to back state popular vote winners.

The key point of this unanimous ruling: “States can require Electoral College voters to back the victor of their state’s popular vote.”  I’m not sure if there is any language in that ruling that says a governor cannot hold his state’s electors responsible to cast their votes with the winner of the popular vote in his or her state.

For Trump to pull off an Electoral College coup there will be a bitter battle fought through the courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and no matter who wins, the country may still be torn apart by a Civil War.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005). He is the award winning author of several books.

My Splendid Concubine

“Packed cover to cover with intriguing characters and plot, a must read for history fans and a fine addition to any collection on the genre.” – Midwest Book Review, May 8, 2008
Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival

2012 London Book Festival

11 responses to “Will Trump’s December Surprise be an attempt to pull off an Electoral College Coup?”

  1. I’m in battleground Wisconsin. Our Covid numbers are out of control. and our do nothing Republicans in the house and senate are a joke. Wisconsin is a big drinking state, so our Tavern League is very strong. Apparently people in Wisconsin can’t drink at home. Our democratic governor is trying to keep us safe, but he keeps getting shot down. Biden won here by 20,000 votes. I am hoping like hell that Trump can’t pull off a coup. If that happens, my plans to move to South America to retire will be fast tracked.

    1. The president of Brazil is another Trump and Venezuela is a mess. Chili or Argentina, maybe.

      1. I’ve read that in some countries it is possible to have health care and a decent standard of living without the need of a fortune.

      2. I’ve been researching living out of the U.S. since 2016. You would be surprised how cheap it is to live in Central and South America.

      3. I’ve read that, too. I’ve also read that Thailand is a good place to live in.

      4. It does look beautiful, too far from the US for me to live in.

  2. I wouldn’t put anything past Trump and his fellow travelers, but this may be a bridge too far, even for them. As Trump himself is wont to say, we’ll see what happens.

    1. Hopefully, it is a bridge too far for most Republicans, especially with state legislators, and this will be another Trump fail to add to his long list of failures.

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